Stonehenge: Oldest family snap revealed

Stonehenge: Oldest family snap revealed

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 6:22am 12th December 2019. (Updated at 6:33am 12th December 2019)

2 minute read

English Heritage says it has unearthed what is believed to be the earliest family photo ever taken at the monument.

The charity had asked the public to send in pictures of the famous neolithic Wiltshire monument to mark 100 years of public ownership.

English Heritage received around 1,000 plus snaps but one particular one stood out.

The image from 1875 was shared by the descendants of Isabel, Maud and Robert Routh, who are pictured in a horse and carriage enjoying a day out at the stones. 

Historian Susan Greaney explains more:

"They're wearing fashionable outfits and hats." 

"Right up until the 1920s and '30s people did dress up for days out like this, in their Sunday best, suits and hats."

Another picture shows the group sitting on the stones - which is now only allowed on special occasions - with a picnic rug and what appears to be a bottle of champagne.

Stonehenge oldest pictures exhibition December 2019
Clockwise from top right: Photos dating from 1969, 1962, 1958 and 1929

The oldest picture without a family dates from 1853.

The pictures will feature alongside more than 140 others, in the Your Stonehenge exhibition which runs from today to late August 2020 at Stonehenge.

Also included will be more modern pictures, such as the snap by photographer Martin Parr of a couple kissing in front of the stones during the 2019 Autumn Equinox. He now wants to track down the pair.

Stonehenge May 2013 (Zach Welty Mike Draper) (8)
Stonehenge is an iconic place for photos

Ms Greaney said:

"The exhibition shows how photography has changed - the rise of the selfie stick and the smartphone and how taking a photograph is a very different thing now.

"The way that people pose - people's faces have got closer to the camera until they are taking a picture of themselves more than they are of Stonehenge."

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